California Department of Water Resources

The firm serves as licensing and regulatory compliance counsel for the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) on its 763 megawatt Oroville Facilities, the crown jewel of the California State Water Project, as well as its South SWP Hydroelectric Project, a 1,679 megawatt system of dams, reservoirs, and conduits for which CDWR is co-licensee with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. For the Oroville Facilities, the firm provides legal and strategic advice on a wide range of issues and assisted CDWR in negotiating a comprehensive relicensing settlement agreement signed by 51 organizations, which is presently pending before FERC. The firm also helped negotiate several complex side agreements with key stakeholders, including an innovative agreement with fish and wildlife agencies, conservation organizations, water contractors, and the licensee of several upstream projects, to provide funds for offsite habitat restoration to benefit ESA-listed anadromous fish species in lieu of providing fish passage at the Oroville Facilities and upstream dams.

With regard to license compliance, the firm assists CDWR on a variety of matters for both the Oroville Facilities and for the South SWP Hydroelectric Project. For example, the firm successfully represented the CDWR before FERC and the Ninth Circuit in a complaint filed by a local county, which sought payments from the CDWR for alleged socioeconomic impacts of the Oroville Facilities on the county.